Advance Your Career During the Coronavirus Pandemic
Yes, You Can Still Advance Your Career During the Coronavirus Pandemic
We are living in unprecedented times as the world navigates the Coronavirus pandemic. As the impacts of the pandemic continue to unfold around the world, many are left feeling concerned about what affect this will have on their career path.
There is a lot of uncertainty around job markets and the economy right now, especially for new graduates, job seekers, or those recently laid off. While it can feel overwhelming, there are still a lot of companies hiring and new opportunities for professional development.
So, how can you adapt your approach to advance your career?
Adaptability is an important skill to harness for any job. Especially during a time when colleges are closing their campuses and companies are moving to remote work, the reality is that you will need to be flexible in your career journey as you adapt to a new (temporary) reality. Whether you are a recent graduate, starting a new job search, or in an established job, advancing your career will look a little different during the pandemic.
One example is interviews. While you may be confident in traditional in-person interviews, now you will need to prepare for phone or video interviews. Video interviews can have a very different feel to in-person ones. Practice your posture, eye contact, and tone of voice. Also, don’t forget about your background! Set an appropriate place in your home and make sure you consider the lighting and sound quality.
Search for online opportunities
Opportunities for resume-building experiences may look different during this time. Maybe you had informational interviews set up or were going to boost your volunteer work. Instead, consider what professional development resources are available online:
Take a course
Especially with schools and workplaces being closed, e-learning is a thriving new trend. There are many online career courses in a variety of fields available. Take the time to research what course fits best with your career goals and financial situation. If you're currently employed, ask what career advancement opportunities are available through the organization and take advantage now while you have more time at home.
Did you know that New Impact offers an Impact Careers Course with expert sustainability leader and ICF-certified career coach, Shannon Houde?
Other free course ideas in the impact space include resources like Coursera on the following topics:
- Social Impact Strategy: Tools for Entrepreneurs and Innovators - University of Pennsylvania
- The Age of Sustainable Development - Columbia University
- Become a Sustainable Business Change Agent - University of Colorado
- Renewable Energy and Green Building Entrepreneurship - Duke University
- Creativity, Innovation, and Change - Penn State University
- Act on Climate: Steps to Individual, Community, and Political Action - University of Michigan
You may not be able to volunteer in person, but you can still boost your resume and help a cause you are passionate about from home. Now, more than ever, nonprofit organizations are leaning on help from virtual volunteers to advance their missions and continue their work.
Volunteering, especially when your community needs support the most, will show your passion, adaptability, and strength to potential employers. Idealist provides a useful list on how to get involved with virtual volunteering.
Learn a new skill
With social events getting canceled, commuter times being diminished, and in-person opportunities for professional development postponed, now is the perfect time to learn a new skill to add to your resume. Make sure you keep your resume updated with your new experiences and skills! Here are just a few examples to explore:
Not sure where to start? Visit Net Impact’s career portal.
Stay connected...from home
You can still stay in touch with your existing connections and boost your network while social distancing. It’s important to stay relevant in your career field even while staying at home. Connect with your existing network through email, LinkedIn, or a well-timed phone call. Also, don’t hesitate to reach out to professionals in jobs that interest you in the same manner. You can always turn in-person informational interviews into “virtual coffee dates.”
Stay up to date with organizations that hire for roles you want through their website, job board, emails, and newsletters. While you are spending more time at home, you can rigorously check for updates on relevant job boards and online forums.
Check out the Net Impact Job Board for a running list of opportunities that are constantly being updated with new postings for both remote and IRL jobs.
Take time to focus on yourself
As your world continues to shift and you are forced to make adjustments to your daily life, it’s important to consider your physical and mental health. This is an opportunity to focus on yourself and your future goals as you plan out your life for the next few months during the pandemic. It may feel like you need to “make the most” of your time at home, but it’s worth prioritizing your wellbeing, which in turn will help you be your most productive self! Here are a few ideas on how to take care of yourself while also taking care of your “to-do list”:
- Create a strong work from home routine
- Continue to dress for work, even while staying safe at home
- Reflect on your future career goals
- Plan for job search success
- Recharge by taking a deep breath or finding joy in the little things
- Start a journal
- Tackle a reading list
So even in these uncertain times, stay positive, remain focused on your goals, and know that you can still thrive in your professional development.